Chamber Music Kauai to perform this weekend

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    regory Shepherd conducts a rehearsal on Sunday for this weekend’s Chamber Music Kauai concerts.

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Susan Hironaka and Loren Kayfetz during Sunday’s rehearsal at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Musicians rehearse for this weekend’s Chamber Music Kauai concerts. From left are Eddie Bittner, Kimberly Hope and Katherine Stennett.

Chamber Music Kauai, the island’s only vocal and orchestral ensemble dedicated exclusively to classical music, will present its “Classical Christmas” concerts on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Both concerts are at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Lihue.

Greg Shepherd directs the group, and Monica Chung is the accompanist.

The concerts will feature a wide array of orchestral, choral and solo pieces, including violinist Kimberly Hope performing “Meditation” from the opera “Thais,” flutist Susan Hironaka performing “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from the opera “Orfeo,” and the 28-member choir taking the audience on a musical journey through the past 500 years.

Special guest performer Sylvia Woods will offer three selections on the Celtic harp and will also serenade audience members as they enter the church.

“Being in this choir has been such an honor and a privilege for me,” said alto Doreen Caberto. “It’s brought my singing ability to a level I never thought possible. It’s also instilled in me a passion for classical music I never had. Hearing our choir sing as one and the orchestra play is mesmerizing. I get a real sense of satisfaction in preparing our songs.”

Laine Griffith, who plays clarinet and flute, said he was excited and honored to participate in Chamber Music Kauai. “It’s a unique opportunity to experience this style of music at this level of quality. Greg Shepherd is a marvelous musician and director,” Griffith said.

Admission is $15 general, and $10 for those under 22 years of age. Cash or local check only.

Shepherd began the group in 2016.

“I’m especially excited to have so many younger members in the group, some of whom are only 11 years old but who have been playing their instruments for several years and are fully capable of playing the challenging pieces on our program,” he said.

“From the beginning I’ve wanted the focus of the ensemble to be educational through the rehearsing and performance of advanced pieces from the classical repertoire. With the mix of seasoned performers and younger members, there is a coming together of experience and youthful energy.”

Info: Shepherd at shep@hawaii.edu or 482-1455.

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Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or bbuley@thegardenisland.com.

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